In the previous blogs I wrote about the value of Microsoft’s coming together with its partners at a conference in Houston and the work that ICONICs is doing to develop innovative solutions for the utility industry.

Another good example of how our investments with partners is coming to life is the innovative work we are doing with ESTEQ Engineering and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company in South Africa (PBMR). 

As electric power prices continue their move higher worldwide, many countries are re-evaluating the potential of nuclear energy as a generation source.

PBMR’s use of Microsoft high performance computing will be a go-to learning experience for every future High Temperature Reactor built because PBMR is on schedule to be the first commercial scale reactor with a closed-cycle gas turbine power conversion system in the power generation field.

clip_image002In PBMR’s case, the utility required an integrated, reliable, and easy-to-use, easy-to-administer high performance computing platform. We have a brief video and case study on it, which I’d encourage you to visit.

In sum, PBMR deployed 17 HP Proliant DL Series servers with Windows HPC to start migrating one of the applications (MSC Marc) from Linux to Windows with the help of ESTEQ Engineering. Integration, performance, stability, and ease of use on Windows proved to be excellent and now PBMR is considering moving other applications to Windows.

With the increased demand for energy and there is an increasing need to extend high performance computing to the masses for applications such as power grid analysis and situation awareness, the simulation of plant outages for re-fueling and equipment repairs and the design of complex next generation power systems in the case of PBMR.  As HPC pushes out beyond traditional supercomputing centers toward departments and divisions there is a need to speed deployment, manageability and overall ease of use. Using tools like the automated deployment servers (ADS) feature of Windows Server 2003 HPC nodes can be deployed via multicast and then managed with the cluster through Windows Computer Cluster Server’s management tools and user interface.  Plus, by deploying Operations Manager a company can monitor detailed cluster performance information in a scalable fashion throughout the enterprise.

What this means is a dramatically reduced turnaround time for customers to quickly respond to  market drivers and get meaningful results to Empower Excellence in Power & Utilities.  - Jon